Shades of Grey

February 21, 2015 at 9:15 pm (More than Mediocre) (, , , , , , , )

glory rose

I write today’s post knowing full well that many of you that I call friends and family will disagree with me.  And while I generally am not a confrontational person, this message is one that I must speak.  For myself.  For my three girls.  For my son and my husband.  And I must speak it for you, my reader.  May all of our eyes be opened to truth, for they have gone dim and we have lost sight of who and what we were created to be.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

This message began to brew in my heart after a recent workplace discussion of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey.  Back when the book was released, I was aware that some thought it to be quite a “scandalous” story, but I never looked into it and hadn’t really thought about it since.  After reading a review of the movie at http://www.pluggedin.com/movies/intheaters/fifty-shades-of-grey.aspx , I knew that I could not remain silent on the matter.  And here we are diving in to this troublesome topic.

And what a troublesome topic it is!  You, my reader, depending on your life experiences and the “filter” that you experience everything through, may grow increasingly uncomfortable as we continue.  I’ve spent a lifetime trying to hide from that discomfort, and have come to find that freedom only comes when we expose the truth, no matter how dark it may be.

Unfortunately, I am no stranger to unhealthy sexual relationships.  My destructive journey began the day a part of me died.  I was a little girl and I did not understand everything that happened to me.  But I did understand how it made me feel.  And I learned not to trust…anyone.  Encounters with pornographic magazines on the toilets of friends’ dads and those I babysat for and another poisonous relationship as a teen added to my recipe for self-destruction.  By the time I truly fell in love, my view of sex and everything related was severely…almost hopelessly…distorted.  Poor BJ!  He had no idea what he had gotten himself into the day he married me!  And we have literally spent the last seventeen years trying to repair the damage done.  Progress is slow.  We take a step forward and then two back.  Sometimes five back.  Sometimes ten.  Re-building a broken person is not easily done-as wounds this deep tear open in an instant.  Flashbacks.  Fears.  Insecurities.  That’s why I’m writing this post today.  I have no expert credentials to flash when it comes to discussing these matters.  I can only speak out from personal experience and warn those of you who think that things of this nature are “harmless” that they are in fact not.  They bring about a slow internal death that no one should ever have to experience.

So what’s the big deal about Fifty Shades of Grey?  It’s just sex, right? 

Sadly, our culture has entirely divorced sex, the physical and emotional union of a man and a woman, from true selfless love and intimacy.  The very same sex that God created for mankind’s pleasure, the very same sex that He created to make the marriage bed holy, has been  “twisted, exploited, and turned into an urgent, illicit, casual, and self-gratifying activity.  Love has turned into lust, giving into getting, and lasting commitment into ‘no strings attached.’”  The deepest expression of love and most powerful bond of commitment, once protected by the covenant of marriage, has been perverted in every way imaginable.  Yet, our culture cries out, “It’s good.  It’s different.  It’s exciting.  We like it.  We want more of it.”

The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.

But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.

If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.

Friends and family, the light within our culture is darkness.  We have become so overexposed to licentious images and pornography through the media that we have become desensitized to it.  We have ingested so much filth into our lives that we can no longer distinguish right from wrong, good from bad.  Millions of “decent” men and women are hiding out in the comfort of their own homes pouring over written and internet porn and now we are racing to the theater to watch it, unashamed amongst our friends and strangers alike.  Our daughters are growing up believing that their body, a sacred gift that should be reserved solely for the one willing to whole-heartedly commit to them for a lifetime, is their commodity to freely buy, sale, and trade with.  In this lifestyle, they will never know the security of genuine selfless love and commitment from a man.  And when their commodity eventually loses its value, they are left with nothing.  We MUST first realize ourselves (yes, ladies, we have also bought into the lies) and then TEACH OUR DAUGHTERS that a woman’s worth far exceeds any man’s sexual desires.

The media keeps our sons on sexually charged standby at all times.  They are bombarded by increasingly perverse, unrealistic, and dangerous pornographic images and videos every time they pick up an electronic device.  Every. Single. Time.  Because the desires that feed pornography only escalate, if we as parents do not intervene, it will only be a matter of time before we lose our sons to the battle.  We must TEACH OUR SONS self-discipline, the dangers of porn, and how to truly love, value, and respect a woman.

And in our own relationships, we must be careful to understand God’s original intent for sex.

Now here’s the part that most of you aren’t going to like.  A sexual union between anyone outside of a Biblical one man and one woman marriage covenant will NEVER be fulfilling.  Such a union violates God’s perfect plan for our relationships and does not carry His blessing.  Regardless of your age, if you aren’t married, and you’re having sex, stop.  Believe it or not, you do actually have the power to say no.  And you should value and respect yourself enough to not settle for someone who wants the most precious gift you can give, a bond stronger than any other on earth, before committing their life to you.

If you ARE currently in a marriage relationship, take a moment to reflect on your sexual encounters with your spouse.  Sex is a vital part of marriage and God has taken great care to provide insight into its use for our fulfillment.  He’s also given warnings about its misuse.  Like any activity, there are some do’s and don’ts to follow for maximum pleasure and safety.  While I could probably go on for days about the differences between men and women and sexual fulfillment, it all really boils down to one thing:  TRULY FULFILLING SEX is one man and one woman one hundred percent committed to fulfilling EACH OTHER’S needs.  It’s about loving someone so much that you are willing to put their feelings, their insecurities, their happiness, their comfort, their EVERY NEED above those of yourself.  Period.  When both individuals are determined to meet the needs of their partner, everybody’s needs get met!

In First Corinthians 13 Paul gives a beautiful description of what love is and what it is not.  If you truly want to make love to your spouse, try replacing the word love here with the word sex for a little bedroom advice on what loving, fulfilling sex should and should not be.

Sex is patient.  Sex is kind.  Sex does not envy, sex does not boast, sex is not proud.  Sex is not rude, sex is not self-seeking, sex is not easily angered, sex keeps no records of wrongs.  Sex does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  Sex always protects, sex always trusts, sex always hopes, sex always perseveres.

Many of you, like me, are broken people trying to survive in a broken, broken world.  Chances are that you, too, have a severely distorted view of God’s beautiful gift of sex, along with many other things.  If right and wrong are no longer black and white but a shade of gray in your life or if you aren’t experiencing true fulfillment in any area of your life, I urge you to grab a Bible.  If you don’t have one, head over to www.biblegateway.com and search the scriptures.  Like Fifty Shades of Grey, it’s a sure page-turner full of scandal of every sort.  Unlike the controversial book though, it’ll be the best read of your life.  Guaranteed.

 3It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.  The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.               ~1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

 NIV Study Bible Commentary

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